Abhoring a vacuum

Thoughts on why Trump is having a harder time shrugging off the Khan debacle, when so little else has stuck to him: I think most people are predisposed to believe everyone operates from a similar moral core. It’s part of how we interpret signals from people and navigate the world. So Trump supporters wave off a lot of his offensive statements by saying, “he can’t really mean that, because no one could say that seriously without shame, and he’s not ashamed,” and his actions with, “there must be reasons why that person deserved it, because no one would do that unthinkingly, and Trump isn’t angry or scared.” He’s just not sending signals they can interpret, so they’re seeing a lot of it as white noise and not holding him accountable.

But whether through sickness or violence, everyone knows someone who has lost a child. Certainly, everyone’s lost at least one person they cared about. And to hear Trump, when asked what he’s sacrificed, say he’s created a lot of jobs, clearly not understanding the emotional gulf between “sacrifice” and “contribution,” I think has really pushed people to confront the fact that whatever their assumptions, Trump just doesn’t operate from any kind of moral or emotional core.

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